Dominic Harvey: Closing the tech talent gap for the industry

Dominic Harvey: Closing the tech talent gap for the industry


Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs gives his thoughts and advice on how to close the skills gap within the technology market:

The emergence of digitisation and automation is rapidly changing the requirements needed in the workplace throughout the UK, creating an increased demand for a range of advanced and future tech skills. The various roles and job specifications opening up highlight the demand for these roles and show no signs of slowing down.

Whilst the technology market is thriving, the industry is faced with distinct sector-specific skills gaps, with over 70% of employers experiencing a shortage, therefore impacting their recruitment. Skills such as agile working and digital interaction, as well as the emergence of blockchain technology development, are key for companies investing in the digital skills demand for the future.

As revealed in our latest Confidence Index research, one of the biggest contributing factors affecting confidence in the industry currently is the the skill set on hand (35%). However, to tackle the skills shortage it’s important to ensure interest and confidence in technology is cemented from education level and retained throughout their careers.

Whilst the national curriculum should reflect and address tech skills at a young age within the education system, businesses should also be promoting and inspiring the next generation of talent, in order to tackle the burgeoning future tech skills gap head on.

Plugging the shortfall, many businesses are already finding creative and engaging ways to help students recognise the fantastic potential and career paths available within this thriving sector. Through dedicated school events and social media, fostering relationships with schools and colleges raise awareness and work towards shifting views towards the opportunities available.

Recognising a candidate’s potential is the key to diversifying the recruitment processes within the sector and attracting future talent. Offering work experience placements and apprenticeships to students is one of the most successful ways to invest and train up future talent, providing a stepping stone into the industry and attracting fresh entry-level jobseekers.

Making roles more inclusive will also open up the recruitment process and foster diverse workplaces, ensuring an alternative way of thinking for long-term viable strategies. As widely discussed within the industry, more needs to be done to encourage women into tech roles to close the current gender imbalance in favour of men within the industry.

Upskilling and training are vital for companies to reduce employee turnover and ensure workers are confident and happy within their existing roles. The lack of opportunity to climb a career ladder is one of the key deterrent’s to current workers in the tech industry, therefore offering quality investment often prolongs the time talent remain, as they feel a sense of recognition and development.

On-the-job learning is highly effective within the industry offering real-life experience with guidance from peers and seniors and is a fantastic opportunity to fill most skills gaps internally. Upskilling existing team members also boosts staff progress and motivation and ensures all is in line with the business’s goals and objectives. 

As the rapid evolution of technology is only set to increase, this is the exact moment the industry and government should be placing high importance on closing the tech talent gap. Companies also need to be proactively working with schools and students to promote and encourage future talent, as well as internally addressing and diversifying the recruitment process and offering sufficient training and upskilling to current employees to retain current talent.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

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